Cloud computing allows you to get on-demand, convenient, ubiquitous network access to shared configurable computing resources such as storage, networks, servers, services, and applications. More and more businesses are moving and integrating their biometric identification management systems to cloud platforms because of the many benefits this brings. These include:
The following is a guest post submitted to M2SYS by Brent Whitfield. He is the CEO of DCG Technical Solutions, Inc.
For many security and technology experts, the advantages of multifactor biometrics have been becoming increasingly clear as criminals and security gurus alike continue to pick holes in standalone biometric authentication systems.
Now, for the first time, serious financial forecasts have outlined the potential size of the biometrics market to global infrastructure protection up to 2020 – and it’s pretty big!
Biometric technology, once exclusively used as a Hollywood prop, has since evolved into a practical, affordable technology used in many different capacities for both government and private enterprises.
Many new biometric identity management solutions are now leveraging the cloud, freeing up resources and creating once unforeseen efficiencies to help increase utility and security. For example, our state-of-the-art cloud based biometric technology ePolice™ solution has the potential to completely change the face of law enforcement agencies around the globe.
“With a feeling of great enthusiasm and eagerness, I arrived at the Lake view middle school where I planned to begin my career as a geography teacher. I was only 22 years old at that time and had just completed my grad course for teachers. I can still remember how well prepared I was for my first lesson, a good plan, an interesting topic… (climate change) I was full of energy and hope. After nervously and less than confidently entering in the sixth grade class the first thing I had to do was ‘ROLL CALL’. It took me almost 10 minutes to complete and I could not finish the day as I’ve dreamed. Did you ever track student attendance on a paper sheet during class hours? If yes, then you know how difficult and time consuming it is. Doesn’t it take the fun out of teaching? However, it doesn’t need to be this way.” – Susan Verhoff
Susan Verhoff is an imaginary middle school teacher but this scenario is common for every teacher from charter schools to universities around the globe. The problem of paper based attendance records stretches not only to attendance tracking but also in admission, assessment, library, cafeteria, classroom, enrollment, facility, financial, and fundraising management – all which take a large portion of teacher and student time. Teachers and administrative staff have to spend a lot of unproductive time to track these events. Continue reading →
Before the electronic and computer revolution, banks and other financial organizations used vaults or safes with manual locking systems to protect valuables. Today, banks are looking ahead to more advanced technologies for asset protection such as mobile technology, biometrics and cloud computing to fight against theft and cyber-crime.
Technologies like mobile banking, biometrics and cloud computing are constantly evolving in the financial service and banking industry and as we sit at the start of 2015, it is time to reflect on the past year and look ahead at what is to come.
Yesterday we were pleased to welcome Terry Hartmann (@TerryID) from Unisys (@unisyscorp) to discuss the topic of biometrics and cloud computing at our monthly Twitter chat on biometric technology. It was an excellent discussion surrounding the questions:
1. What are the driving reasons for storing biometric information in the cloud?
2. Will “Identity as a Service” ever get off the ground ?
3. Will future growth of biometric cloud computing come mainly from the private or public sectors?
4. Are there different security standards that should apply to biometric data stored in the cloud?
5. Where do you see the biggest future growth in the federal market for biometric solutions?
6. Will the growth of mobile technology look to biometrics as the user authentication security of choice?
Among all of the answers that Terry provided, a few highlights to share:
- Because so many federal agencies (FBI, DOD, Dept. Of Homeland Security) are accessing the same biometric data from different applications, storing this information in the cloud makes a lot of sense. Furthermore, another reason to store biometric information in the cloud is to facilitate separation of biographic and biometric data.
- In response to the question if “Identity as a Service” will ever get off the ground, Terry said that as more organizations move apps to the cloud, there is a greater need for security and 2-factor authentication and since many organizations don’t have the resources to roll out an id system on their own, this is where a managed service benefits them.
- Speculating on where the future growth of biometrics in the cloud would come from, Terry said the private sector would be the largest consumer, particularly large cloud based companies like Google and Amazon as they move to biometrics for tighter authentication security on their apps and databases.
- When asked whether different security standards should be applied to biometrics in the cloud, Terry said that all normal biometric standards (FIPS201, ISO 17974) should apply and did not indicate that he felt additional security standards would be appropriate.
- As far as where the future growth of biometrics would be in the federal market, Terry said that healthcare, particularly biometrics related to healthcare benefits to reduce fraud.
- Terry also confirmed that biometrics is quickly becoming the identificaiton/authentication security platform of choice for mobile devices.
For a copy of the entire chat transcript including information and questions provided by the participants, please click here.
Thank you again to Terry Hartmann for his time and to Unisys. Stay tuned to our blog for information next week about April’s #biometricchat.
Due to a scheduling conflict, we had to move this month’s #biometricchat tweet chat with Terry Hartmann from Unisys Corporation back to 03/15/12 at 11 a.m. EST. The topic will be the history of biometrics and cloud computing, where we are now and what the future may hold.
Please see our previous post about the content of the chat and mark off 03/15 at 11 a.m. EST (12 p.m. CST, 9 a.m. PST), and come prepared to the chat with your questions and input on the topic. See you then!
When: March 1, 2012
11:00 am EST, 8:00 am PST, 16:00 pm BST, 17:00 pm (CEST), 23:00 pm (SGT), 0:00 (JST)
Where: tweetchat.com (hashtag #biometricchat)
What: Tweet chat on biometrics and cloud computing
Topics: The exponential growth of biometric data, leveraging the cloud for big data biometrics, applications that can benefit from biometric cloud computing, the burdens of new biometric modalities, the future of biometrics and the cloud
We are pleased to announce that Terry Hartmann from Unisys will be joining us at the March #biometricchat to discuss the past, current and possible future state of biometric cloud computing. The explosion of biometric data records in the last few years has precipitated the need to find efficient ways to store and process identity verification at often real-time speeds for the institutions that rely on this technology for security and other uses. Cloud computing has provided a fortuitous venue to store and process this data, our goal for the chat is to ask Terry some questions about the history of biometrics and the cloud, what advances have been made in the past few years and what we expect to see in the future as petabytes of biometric data mount and more agencies and organizations seek efficiency, speed and continued security for their deployments.
Just in case you are interested in participating but are new to Tweet chats, please read this post which outlines the instructions and procedures. We hope that you will join us for the discussion, and please spread the word among your colleagues and friends.
Do you have any questions that you would like to ask Terry? Please send them to: firstname.lastname@example.org or come prepared with your questions, comments and feedback on Thursday, March the 1st at 11am EST.
Today’s guest post is by Natasha Tasha.
More and more international governments and security-intensive companies are using biometric-enabled identity cards for their employees and professionals. As this technology becomes more widespread, the need to make this technology more mobile, and more accessible is becoming clear. Experts all over the globe are pushing for cloud-based biometrics for greater efficiency and mobility.
With this comes a host of concerns. The main one being security and reliability. With major players in cloud computing making the news with outages and security breaches, critics of cloud computing and biometrics integration have only become more vocal. Still, it’s clear that both large governments and organizations need an efficient way to organize and manage this large amount of data. In fact, it’s also becoming evident that sheer CPU power is no longer enough to manage the petabytes of data that biometrics identity systems require.
The overarching immediate need will be to create large-scale cloud-based applications that could house the massive amounts of biometrics data. One big hurdle comes with migrating these massive databases over to cloud computing applications. But experts are convinced this is not much of a hurdle with the powerful virtualization available through virtual servers and cloud hosting providers.
Additionally, many government agency officials believe that cloud computing applications for biometrics would increase security when it comes to large-scale terrorist watch programs. Cloud biometrics management systems could also provide increased efficiency in social services and criminal watch management. Experts posit that streamlined cloud systems could give government agencies access to an individual’s entire history at a glance. This would dramatically cut down the use and drainage of government resources, as cloud data management systems tend to reduce workloads significantly.
In the private sector, particularly with defense-based corporations, cloud systems would serve a similar function. Since defense companies often work with security-sensitive data, cloud applications could increase efficiency by streamlining efforts to manage data and information connected to security clearance. As would be the case in the government sector, all of this information could be easily accessed in one place so complicated data management processes are seamlessly streamlined.
Government agencies, terrorist watch groups and defense contractors are ready and willing to use this technology. But as with any cloud-based data management system, there is the immediate concern of security. When it comes to defense and government data management, heavy encryption is a key component of any cloud-based data security plan. Still, there are several critics of moving sophisticated biometrics data to the cloud. Many of these critics vocalize concern over whether or not the cloud would increase national security risks with the rise of global and politically charged “hacktivists” who have brought down significant websites, like the Federal Bureau of Investigation, as well as major financial institutions, like Visa, MasterCard, Bank of America, Chase and PayPal.
Cloud computing for biometrics advocates push back on these criticisms with assurance that cloud applications used on the government level have multiple and sophisticated layers of security, which have been developed by cutting edge cloud security specialists all over the globe.
Tasha is writer and blogger, currently exploring cloud computing, virtual servers and other popular tech related trends